Congratulations to Our 2021 Youth Tour Winners
Victory Electric is proud to sponsor four local high school juniors to participate in the 2021 electric cooperative youth tour program. Each summer, Victory Electric sends two students to Washington, D.C., and two students to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, for two unique leadership opportunities.
Chance Unruh, Ingalls, and Logan Hubbell, Spearville, will travel to Washington, D.C., in June to attend the Electric Cooperative Youth Tour.
While in Washington, D.C., both students will join more than 1,800 youth from across the nation. Participants will visit the monuments, have breakfast on Capitol Hill with the Kansas senators, and attend several other attractions.
Autumn Klein, Dodge City, and Courtney Bailey, Ingalls, will attend Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, in July.
At camp, the Kansas students will join youth from Colorado, Oklahoma and Wyoming and have the opportunity to form a mock cooperative, gain leadership skills, and learn about the cooperative industry with tours and activities.
The four winners were chosen based on their involvement, experience and leadership potential which they demonstrated through a résumés application and during an interview in front of a panel of judges.
“Victory Electric is proud to sponsor local students for youth tour,” said Jerri Whitley, Victory Electric vice president of communications. “As a cooperative, we value the seven cooperative principles and one of those principles is ‘concern for community.’ Investing in our youth is a great way for us to stay involved and provide students opportunities they may not have otherwise.”
The youth tour contest is held each fall for high school juniors. For more information on the program or how to apply, please visit our website.
Electric Cooperative Youth Tour to Washington, D.C., provides students the opportunity to see their nation’s capital up close, learn about the political process, and interact with elected officials.
Victory Electric’s representatives join other Kansas teens on a weeklong trip aimed at developing leadership skills and expanding knowledge of our political system. The Kansas state youth tour director, arranges the Kansas delegation's visits to our U.S. Representatives' and Senators' offices, federal agencies, and other educational and sightseeing activities. In addition to the planned statewide activities, the youth tour experience encompasses multi-state activities coordinated by NRECA.
The group meets in Topeka and starts the trip with a look at state government where there they meet current state elected officials who also participated in youth tour. After a tour of the state capital, students are guests at a nearby electric cooperative to learn more about rural electric cooperatives through a career fair, safety demonstration, and a ride in a bucket truck.
Once in Washington, D.C., the group visits with Kansas’s congressional delegation and make important stops at national memorials museums and monuments to include: the Holocaust Memorial Museum, George Washington’s Mt. Vernon, Arlington National Cemetery, the Smithsonian museums, a show at the Kennedy Center, and much more.
Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp, a weeklong event in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, engages participants in leadership activities with 100 other attendees from high schools in Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas and Wyoming
Victory Electric also sponsors two students to attend Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp, a week-long event in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, created with the goal of helping students develop speaking skills, engage in leadership activities, learn about democracy and the electric industry, in particular the cooperative business model.
Senator Lyndon B. Johnson inspired the Youth Tour when he addressed the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in 1957. The senator and future president declared, “If one thing comes out of this meeting, it will be sending youngsters to the national capital where they can actually see what the flag stands for and represents.”
Consequently, some Texas electric cooperatives sent groups of young people to Washington, D.C., to work during the summer in Senator Johnson’s office. In 1958, a rural electric cooperative in Iowa sponsored the first group of 34 young people on a week long study tour of our nation’s capital. Later that same year, another busload came to Washington, D.C., from Illinois. The idea grew and other states sent busloads of young people throughout the summer. By 1959, the “Youth Tour” had grown to 130 students.
In 1964, NRECA began to coordinate joint activities among the state delegations and suggested that cooperative representatives from each state arrange to be in Washington, D.C., during Youth Tour week. The first year of the coordinated event included approximately 400 young people from 12 states. Word of the program continued to spread and today, more than 1,500 students and 250 chaperones participate in Youth Tour every year.
In 1973, Kansas Electric Cooperatives, Inc., (KEC) Board of Trustees suggested there should be a conference for youth, in addition to the existing Youth Tour program. In 1976, KEC sent a representative to a leadership camp created by the Colorado Electric Cooperatives to evaluate camp activities and educational potential. In 1977, KEC sent its first delegates to Cooperative Youth Leadership Camp (then called the Energy Seminar) in Steamboat Springs. Now, nearly 100 students from Colorado, Kansas, Oklahoma and Wyoming attend the leadership camp each year.